What is RIBN?

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The mission of Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses is to improve the health and health outcomes of North Carolinians by enhancing the educational preparation and diversity of the nursing workforce. The program provides a four-year nursing option that concurrently enrolls students in a community college – where students obtain their associate degree in nursing – and later, a university – where they complete their bachelor's degree in nursing.

Started in 2010, there are now eight regional RIBN partnerships across the state. Click here to watch a video about the value of the RIBN program.

The Hickory RIBN program dually admits students to Lenoir- Rhyne University and one of these five local community colleges that partner with the LRU College of Nursing.


Students in the RIBN Track:

  • Spend the first three years at the community college campus along with taking at least one course per semester at Lenoir-Rhyne University (most classes at LRU are online).
  • Receive their associate degree in nursing at the end of their third year.
  • After passing the state licensure exam, progress to the fourth year of the program.
  • Complete fourth-year course work online at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
  • Upon completion of their fourth year, receive their Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Lenoir-Rhyne University.

What are the Advantages of RIBN for students?

  • Completion of BSN degree within four years.
  • Expanded career and educational opportunities.
  • An affordable way to receive a valuable baccalaureate degree.
  • Added support with a RIBN student success advocate available to assist program participants.
  • Option to work as a registered nurse during the fourth year.

Contact Us
Jordan Thomas, Hickory RIBN Student Success Advocate
Jordan.Thomas@lr.edu; 828-328-7213

RIBN is coordinated statewide by the Foundation for Nursing Excellence with financial support from the Duke Endowment, the Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the NC Area Health Education Centers Program.

For more information about the statewide RIBN program, visit www.ribn.org. For more information on the background and funding of RIBN, visit the Foundation for Nursing Excellence website at www.ffne.org/ribn-project.


RIBN Admission Requirements

Students with less than 26 transferable college credit hours must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for the program:

  • A high school diploma or its equivalent plus satisfactory completion of the following course requirements:
    • Four units of English
    • Two units of a language other than English
    • One unit of American History
    • Three units of mathematics (algebra I, algebra II, and geometry). Other math such as statistics is encouraged but not required.
    • One unit of a laboratory science (other than Chemistry)
    • One Unit of Chemistry (Required) - must be within the last 5 years
  • Cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • An SAT score of a minimum of 500 in Critical Reading and 500 in Math OR ACT score of a minimum 22 in English/Reading and 22 in Math
  • A Test of Essential Academic Skills exam (TEAS V ®) score at or above the Proficient level or a minimum of 63 points (Click here for TEAS V registration information)
  • A completed application to the community college

Students with 26 or more transferable college credit hours should contact the RIBN Student Success Advocate for eligibility requirements.


How to apply to RIBN

Click on the community college of your choice for deadlines and information on how to apply.


RIBN Tuition and Fees

The RIBN program was built with both quality and affordability in mind. RIBN is an innovative way to earn a highly valuable baccalaureate nursing degree at extremely affordable rates. Students pay community college tuition for the first three years (in addition to paying for at least one course per semester at LRU). All classes at Lenoir-Rhyne University are at the Life Long Learning tuition rate, which tends to be cheaper than on-campus rates. Financial aid is available for those students who need additional assistance. 

Please contact the admissions office at your choice of community college for specific financial aid information.

Loans and Scholarships


RIBN Quick Links

RIBN Student Disclosure Form
Sample Program Sequence
Frequently Asked Questions
TEAS-V Registration Information
Meet the Student Success Advocate
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